Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Andrew Sisters

Maxine, Patti, La Verne
The world famous musical trio were born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to a Greek restaurant owner and his Norwegian-born wife. There were La Verne, 1915, Maxine, 1917, and Patti, 1920. when Patti was only six years old they all began singing together at amateur nights in local theaters and on radio stations. mr. Andrews disapproved but there mother encouraged the girls so that they would have a mutual interest and would cease their quarreling. They would race home from school each day to hear the Boswell sisters sing on Bign Crosby's radio program. "Music is the one thing we had in common. We never agreed on hair styles or clothes but we were always together when we chose material and arrangements," said Maxine in the 1960's during an interview. Maxine was always the rebel in the family.

After "starving for seven years" with such bands as Leon Belasco and Larry Rich, the girls sang one night in 1937 on a radio broadcast from the Hotel Edison in New York. When Dave Kapp heard them on a cab radio he set up a recording session for them at Decca Records, which was run by his brother Jack. They cut "Nice Work If You Can Get It" as the hit side backed by "Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen." It was the second side that took off and sold over a million copies. For that effort they were paid the flat sum of fifty dollars, with no royalties. Therefore Decca gave them a new contract that paid them a five-cent royalty on every record sold, something tat only Big Crosby had been able to command until then. A few of the hits that followed were "The Hut Sut song,"  Rum and Coca-Cola," and "Beer Barrel Polka."

Although they never matched their idols, the Boswells, for perfect rhythm and harmony, the andrewses became much more famous and made for more money. Maxine's husband, Lou Levy, was their manager and saw to it that the girls had the best arrangers in the business as well as the first pick of new material. no one did more to swing the sound of the late thirties and forties than these three girls, who with all of their movie appearances, they couldn't complain about the huge fees they collected for the. A few are Argentine Nights in 1940, In the Navy, 1941, follow the boys, 1944. In a number of films they worked with Bing Crosby, as they did on records and on his radio program.